Continued numbness normal after ankle replacement?

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I had ankle-replacement surgery and an osteotomy (cutting and moving a foot bone to realign my gait) 9 weeks ago. I still feel half of the bottom of my foot is encased in thick wadding so I can't feel the floor. All the experts (surgeon, PT, primary care) can do is shrug and say "it takes time." I'm beginning to lose patience and hope. Anyone else experience this? At least the stabbing nerve pain and subsequent pins and needles have almost gone. I regret to say, I am getting somewhat depressed. I'm 74 and always been very active. Are my walking days over?

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    I had my second revision on my ankle replacement last oct I still have numb toes and my calf is half the size of my normal leg
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    • Posted

      Golly, that doesn't sound promising for me. Not sure what a "second revision" means though. Except for feeling I am trying to move through concrete, my ankle motion is slowly increasing after 9 weeks, but it's the numbness in parts of the bottom of my foot that are concerning to me. Will those nerves ever regenerate? No one seems to know. I am now in PT, and whereas my calf muscle certainly isn't where it was, it is stronger than it was before I was allowed to put weight on the foot/ankle (6 weeks).

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  • Posted

    Ankle revision is doctor talk for first ankle replacement went bad and I had to have a new one put in 
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  • Posted

    I had ankle replacement surgery almost 7 months ago and the incision took so long to heal that my ankle became frozen. But I was walking without any assistance. Last week my doctor performed an MUA to unfreeze the ankle which didn't work, and now I have so much pain that I can't walk now without crutches. I am going this week for a cat scan to see why my ankle is still frozen and why I am in so much pain. Has anyone else experienced this situation?

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    • Posted

      Wow Gigi I am sorry that's no good. I am not sure what frozen is? My replaced ankle barely bends is that what u mean? I have doc appointment today but I am sure he will say everything is good like he always does. My ankle is worse now then before the surgery and there seems to be no recourse. 

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    • Posted

      Tim, if your ankle is barely bending, then it's a frozen ankle. It should bend like a real ankle. I am waiting on a cat scan to determine the problem. If there is anything wrong with the implant, I am heading over to HSS for another opinion. I need my life back. 

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    • Posted

      I just went to doc of course he said it looked good on X-rays he suggested I get a cortisone shot so that's what I did we wil c if that helps 

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    • Posted

      Hi Tim!

      I hope it works for you. My doctor wants to go in arthoscopically and remove the scar tissue and whatever else that might be hindering my ankle from bending. 

      I see my doctor on Wednesday, and will let you know what the game plan is. 

      Good luck!

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  • Posted

    I am guessing this group is mainly for expressing our worries and own experiences. I had hoped there would be experts who could explain some of the problems. I have my 10-week check-up today and as the numbness is still the same as at 6 weeks, I am ready to punch my doctor in the nose if all he says is "It takes time." I want answers! Is this normal? How long did your other patients' numbness last? What should I be doing to regenerate nerves? Is this the norm for the rest of my life, and if so why did you not warn me pre-surgery that this could be a result? I very well may have opted to hobble about on my wonky ankle and forego surgery. I am sorry for everyone else's obvious pain, of course. This is my first experience with any kind of surgery (and I'm 74) and I am wondering if I should not have had the nerve block in conjunction with the general anesthetic. So many questions that so far no one in my medical "team" seem to be able to answer.

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  • Posted

    Anne, my doctor told me nothing about the numbness or the problems with the incision healing. I have more pain now than I did with my real ankle. I am beating myself up for going through with this surgery. It has ruined a lot of things for me. I suggest that people really investigate the pros and cons of ankle replacement surgery. Doctors will avoid telling the truth, just to operate. It's not fair to the patient. 

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  • Posted

    Hello anne38160..I feel your pain..6 wks ago I broke both of my ankles and I have bad days were I really don't think my life will ever be normal again..one of my ankles had to have 6 screws a pin and a plate put in..I have the numbness your saying you have..I wish I knew something good to tell you but I'm just hearing what you do "it takes time". I'm finding it hard to stay in bed..I still can't walk on either one even tho I was told full weight on one and partial on the other..I'm just miserable..hope things get better for you tho😊

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